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I am using a local account on my Windows 8 computers rather than logging in with a Microsoft account. I see no reason why Microsoft needs to know my login credentials; it feels intrusive to me and it seems like a one more doorway from which I need to protect.

But besides from feels and seems, is a local account actually more secure (whether from hackers or from government agencies) ? Does Microsoft actually have a copy of my keys?

  • It would be very bad if Microsoft had a vulnerability like the iCloud bruteforce weakness. – rook Oct 8 '14 at 22:06
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Microsoft's stated reasons are centered strictly around convenience, not security. They make no claims one way or another whether one type of account is "more secure" than another.

I think you need to be more clear what sort of vulnerabilities and threats you are concerned about. If it's Microsoft having a backdoor, then you would be closing that loop by changing to a local account. If you fear losing your data if your computer is stolen, then you might appreciate the continual backups of their OneDrive service; you might also be concerned about the ability of an offline attacker having the opportunity to try to crack your password. Both are security issues and vulnerabilities, and both are valid concerns from differing points of view. You have to decide what's right for you.

  • Are you saying that Microsoft DOES have a back door if I use a Microsoft account? They DO have a copy of my keys? – MM. Oct 9 '14 at 22:53
  • I'm only saying that if you have a local account and do not permit a Microsoft account, then you are eliminating the Microsoft account as a possible back door. I have no knowledge of how they handle customer accounts. But if you remove it, then you won't be able to install anything from their app store. It's up to you to decide the value and impact of that choice. – John Deters Oct 9 '14 at 23:52

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